The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) commends the efforts put by the Finance Minister in presenting a reform-oriented Budget mainly focused on rural, social, and infrastructure sectors, which will help in further strengthening the foundations of the Indian economy.
According to IBF, the massive thrust on infrastructure sector, in general, and on the social and rural sector in particular, will go a long way in generating additional income and employment. Thiswill provide direct and indirect impetus on the growth of the Broadcasting sector though enhanced spends on advertisement. The 5 per cent tax relief provided to the MSME companies is also a step in the right direction.
“India is on the threshold of scripting a successful growth story. It is already the world’s fastest growing economy. The Union Budget presented by Finance Minister will help in consolidating the benefits of this unfolding economic regime,” said IBF President PunitGoenka, while hailing the Budget proposals and describing it as a transparent instrument for prudent fiscal management. He is also hopeful that some of the specific proposals and concerns raised by the broadcasters in the pre-budget memorandum are addressed soon by Hon’ble FM.
The IBF welcomes the Finance Minister’s proposal to allow carry forward of Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) up to a period of 15 years instead of the present 10 years. “The Foundation was, however, extremely hopeful that the Government would consider the suggestion for granting ‘infrastructure status’ to the broadcasting industry along with permission to carry forward of losses in case of amalgamation or merger as that would have made the M&E sector a more viable engine of speedy growth,” said GirishSrivastava, Secretary General of IBF.
Speaking on the budget, A Mohan, President-Legal and Regulatory Affairs, ZEEL, re-emphasized on the need of Infrastructure status for the Broadcasting sector as the Broadcasting, Cable, and DTH sectors fulfil all the eligibility criteria required for qualifying as “Infrastructure services” viz investment criteria, creation of assets giving enduring benefits, employment criteria, and contribution to exchequer in the form of direct and indirect taxes and accordingly, this sector deserves to be treated as Infrastructure industry thereby qualifying for benefit u/s 72A(1) of the Income Tax Act.
IBF is certain that the Government would revisit this issue on a priority basis in line with the overall theme of its budget to promote infrastructure in the country, both physical and digital.